Are you going travelling all by yourself?
Are you going travelling alone?
Is nobody going with you?
Aren’t you scared something will go wrong?
The answer to the above questions is that I was going alone, and I was terrified, but I was so excited. What I feared and what I thought may go wrong has held me back all my life to only learn that the unknown is not scary; the unknown is full of so many fantastic opportunities. Opportunities that will enable you to immensely grow and see life more fully.
Travelling has always been something I have dreamed of doing. It is something that I wanted to do with my friends for years, but unfortunately, timelines didn’t match up, and that’s okay.
I remember when I realized that I didn’t have to wait for anyone to be ready to go with me because I was ready and wanted to go. I tend to make some of my best decisions in the moment (some better than others). Within that hour, I was on the Australian Government website applying for my visa.
Thinking it would take at least a week to process, I sat there with feelings of excitement, stress, and a little in shock that I actually did that. Within maybe two hours, I got accepted to what was one of the happiest days of my life. I cried and immediately called my brother to share the news.
It all happened so fast, but I know if I didn’t apply right then and there, I would never have gone. I would have gotten pulled so far outside myself through the opinions of friends and family, financial questions, or just the endless demands of everyday life.
Sometimes we forget that we are in charge of our own lives and our happiness depends on nobody but you. In November 2019, I packed my bag (a big one) and moved to Australia, all by myself.
At the beginning of my travels, there were definitely times when I wished I was with a friend or family. Yet, as time passed, and I continued to step outside my comfort zone every day, I was so happy to be on this journey independently.
It has been the most liberating feeling, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It was the push I needed to help me fall back in love with myself.
They are what helped me grow into the person I am now, and what is going to allow me to go travelling again by myself.
Any routine you had back at home, say goodbye the moment you step off the plane. I love a good routine – I love knowing that at 7:30am I am going to make my mango smoothie, and 6pm go to Pilates, and be in bed by 10pm.
It was challenging learning that every day is different while travelling, and the routine that I had back home isn’t going to be the same. I learned to get comfortable going with the flow and accepting change as a good thing. You don’t grow staying inside your comfort zone. Do something different, see new places, and accept that life is going to be a little different for a while – but in the best way possible.
I remember that before I left for Australia, I planned out my first month before I got there. Everything from airport pickup, hostels, to my transportation. I learned this lesson VERY early on when it was my second-week travelling, and it was time for my next destination.
However, I wasn’t ready to leave, and it was not because I didn’t want to go to the next place, but because I met a great group of friends and fell in love with the area. Through meeting other people, I learned that it’s reasonable to book a place a couple days out, see how you like it, then decide on your next moves. For someone who plans and makes lists for nearly everything I do, I was not used to it.
I honestly would have stayed if I didn’t pre-book the rest of the hostels, but in the end, I was back in the same place 3 weeks later. I highly recommend making a list of the places and things you want to see and leave it at that. If you have time, you’ll get there. However things change, you meet people, and you end up travelling with them.
The best thing about travelling alone is that you are the sole decider in what you want to do.
The majority of the time, everyone is in the same position as you, as there tons of solo travellers. Everyone is trying to make a friend, and although there may be times when someone comes up to you, there will be times when you are feeling lonely and need to have some fun or even grab a coffee.
You need to put yourself out there and be willing to be in uncomfortable situations.
Three things that saved me from eating dinner alone a handful of times:
* If you are staying in a hostel, there is a good chance there are planned activities for a couple of nights. Go to these. Go up to the group of people sitting at the table, introduce yourself, and ask if you can sit with them. I am an extremely awkward person, so if I can do this, I believe you can.
If you are solo travelling, I recommend staying at a hostel because it is a fantastic way to meet likeminded people from all around the world.
* You can definitely say I had more luck on Bumble BFF than Bumble for meeting men. This is something about a year ago that I thought was really weird and embarrassing, to be honest. Now it’s something that I look at as a way to make genuine connections because the people on that app are in the same position as you. I have gone for brunch with girls, had coffee meetups, and even beach dates with them and their dog (AMAZING).
I highly recommend Bumble BFF.
* Join Facebook Groups.
Again, this sounds silly, but this is how I have met some of my best mates in Australia. There are heaps of people posting about going on hikes, making a road trip, or even just meeting up for dinner. It’s definitely something that I didn’t do before I went travelling, but it is such a great way to meet people in the same city and make a new friend.
If you are thinking about going travelling by yourself, I really recommend it. You learn so much about yourself and do things that you thought were never possible. Although I was travelling alone, my first three months never felt that way. I met some incredible people, some friendships for a lifetime, and I am so grateful for that.
Thanks for reading – What I learned My First Three Months Travelling Alone
Through honesty, compassion, and real-life experiences, I help women learn how to be independent and confident.